HomeWarming program adapts criteria to help even more Nova Scotians

HomeWarming program adapts criteria to help even more Nova Scotians

An additional 13,000 Nova Scotians living on lower incomes will now qualify to receive free energy efficient upgrades to help make their homes more comfortable throughout the year.

The HomeWarming program offers free energy assessments and home upgrades to eligible Nova Scotians,  such as insulation and draft-proofing. Efficiency Nova Scotia, who administers HomeWarming on behalf of the Province of Nova Scotia and Nova Scotia Power, recently increased the maximum annual income to qualify for the program.

“With the impacts of COVID-19, more people are struggling and more people are at home, making it more important than ever to be able to help people save money and feel more comfortable in their homes,” says Stephen MacDonald, CEO, EfficiencyOne. “This increase ensures that more program funds directly upgrade the homes of Nova Scotians who need financial support to benefit from energy efficiency.”

“Expanding energy efficiency programs to more Nova Scotians also helps many small businesses during these difficult times,” said Energy and Mines Minister Derek Mombourquette. “One of the ways we will weather the economic storm created by COVID-19 is by supporting green jobs and saving money for families who need it the most.”

“Since the program was launched in 2015, HomeWarming has been Nova Scotia Power’s single largest focus for community giving and investment, providing assistance to more than 2,300 homes,” says Mark Sidebottom, Chief Operating Officer of Nova Scotia Power. “The opportunity to provide access to a greater number of customers is a great step forward in increasing efficiency and cost savings for our customers who need it most.

The changes to the HomeWarming eligibility criteria, which went into effect April 17, increases the maximum annual incomes that qualify a household for the program. A one-person home went from a net income of $22,324 to $25,673; a household with 2-4 people from $41,481 to $47,703; and a household with 5 or more people from $59,076 to $67,937.

Efficiency Nova Scotia leads the country in energy efficiency programs and is saving low income families more than $35 million in lifetime energy costs. The average HomeWarming participant can expect to see on average $750 in annual energy savings. To-date the HomeWarming program has helped over 10,000 Nova Scotia households.

Due to restrictions in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19, Efficiency Nova Scotia suspended home energy efficiency assessments and upgrades, including HomeWarming.  During that time Efficiency Nova Scotia worked with Nova Scotia Power and the Nova Scotia Government to redirect $3 million from the HomeWarming Program to address urgent needs during the pandemic.

“The funding supported a number of organizations across the province to help families and individuals with necessities like food and shelter and support to help people stay connected,” says MacDonald.  “In such uncertain times for so many Nova Scotians repurposing the HomeWarming funds allowed us to continue to help Nova Scotians who are most in need.”  The HomeWarming program resumed in mid-June with increased safety protocols and health measures in place to keep each other safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19.  “It is great to be able to be back in people’s homes again and the safety of our customers, partners and employees remains our top priority.”

HomeWarming is administered by Efficiency Nova Scotia and provides free energy efficiency upgrades like insulation and draft-proofing to income-qualified homeowners. HomeWarming is supported by the Province of Nova Scotia and Nova Scotia Power.

EfficiencyOne is a leader in the design and delivery of resource efficiency programs and services for homes, businesses, and large industrial customers. To date, EfficiencyOne, operating in Nova Scotia as Efficiency Nova Scotia, has helped over 400,000 program participants and achieved more than $1 billion in energy savings, avoiding nearly 1 million tonnes of CO2 annually. Learn more at www.efficiencyns.ca 

For more information, contact:
Janet Tobin, Communications Lead

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